Blade 18x20 Countervail

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I'm a long time Wilson user, and I've always had mixed opinions of the Blade 98 line... I thought 2013 was tinny and 2015 was much improved stability wise... however the new layup is very tempting.

It's soft but stable-- there's not a ton of vibration, so it has a deadened feel that is easy on the arm. Very maneuverable and great for slices. Spin potential isn't otherworldly but it's still tolerable in that regard. Surprising amount of pop given the low static weight.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
How does it compare to the 2015?

I'm thinking of getting one but @$219....I think not. I'm also looking at the new Dunlop 98 Tour. Much better price. I currently play with a HEAD Microgel Radical MP with silicone. For $89 I get more for my money.

To me the Blade has always had a sluggish feel due to the weight distribution/balance.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
How does it compare to the 2015?

I'm thinking of getting one but @$219....I think not. I'm also looking at the new Dunlop 98 Tour. Much better price. I currently play with a HEAD Microgel Radical MP with silicone. For $89 I get more for my money.

To me the Blade has always had a sluggish feel due to the weight distribution/balance.
Softer, more muted feel. It felt pretty maneuverable to me, but I'm accustomed to the RF97.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
I held one unstrung in a shop, but I just looked at it for 10 min and still could not justify the price tag. Cool color scheme though. I like the paint job
 

TennisHound

Legend
Countervail takes some getting used to. It's hard to tell when you're hitting the ball, since you really don't feel the racquet at all.
 

CopolyX

Hall of Fame
the key wilson sticks are all about the feel...take away the feel....and you blow the deal....
 

KaiserW

Hall of Fame
I have been down this road before trying to move on from RF 97 and after about trying 10 sticks nothing comes close to the way it dominates the ball with its rock solid stability. I have not tried the CV Blade but tried the 2015 and was not that impressed compared to the RF.

The RF shines on serves and returns two of the most important parts of the game. Not trying to be negative just stating my experiences. But I believe I remember reading you are playing in college or just graduated so you are facing more pace then me which might make the RF a little tougher to get in position. For reference I am a high level 4.0.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I have been down this road before trying to move on from RF 97 and after about trying 10 sticks nothing comes close to the way it dominates the ball with its rock solid stability. I have not tried the CV Blade but tried the 2015 and was not that impressed compared to the RF.

The RF shines on serves and returns two of the most important parts of the game. Not trying to be negative just stating my experiences. But I believe I remember reading you are playing in college or just graduated so you are facing more pace then me which might make the RF a little tougher to get in position. For reference I am a high level 4.0.
You're right that I played d3 college, now doing mostly opens and some league/coaching.

I love the RF, but in college I only had to defend with it in 8 game pro sets(doubles was what I played 95% of the time, only exhibitions in singles) one in a day. Tournaments with full sets and multiple draws, and playing more singles where the focus is on finesse, I'm struggling with defense, and a 12.6 oz racquet isnt making that easier.
 
The CV version definitely is more muted so if you looking for feel, go with the 2015 model instead. I tried the CV and it's pretty similar but for some reason they are slightly more head heavy than the 2015 model. It could be poor Wilson QC as I was a play tester and also got a demo version. Both felt more head heavy than my 2015 Blades even though they weighed the same and very close in SW.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
Why does Tennis Warehouse University list the Blade 18x20 CV has more vibration than the 2015 Blade?
I noticed this also. I guess this test is done with a strung racquet. Maybe they used different strings for the previous model than the 2016 test. Not sure...
 

manchu

New User
The one I demoed was head heavy and ended up hurting my wrist. I was liking it up to that point. Definitely should pay extra to get one closer to printed specs if you get.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I haven't had any stiffness with the demo I'm using... it has more give in the sweetsppot than anything I've hit in a while, and that's with 4g too.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I hit with the 2105 98 18x20 and I SWORE I wasn't going to hit anything else for a while. My buddy talked me into hitting with one from his shop so I could let him know what the differences and my opinion. I will be hitting this evening and the next few weeks. But dangit, I just got two more 2105's off **** for a steal, so I still SWEAR I WILL NOT BUY ONE.

Also have the new Burn and the Ultra 97 (for my son to try)

We will see.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
So I lost the internal battle and just ordered a matched to list spec set of 3 of these. It'll be interesting to drop over an ounce of static weight.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
I bought 2 of the 16x19's with no prior experience with the Blades or Countervail and after hitting today for a bit I can happily say that I don't regret my decision *at all*. I'm also coming from the RF97's and actually didn't expect to love the Blade that much, but I really think I do.
 

Yao_guai_nz

New User
Woopeeee... Mine is coming via family courier... I've come from Nblade (N-Code series), to Kblade (K-Factor series), now awaiting 2016 Blade CV 18x20 (all of them 18x20).
Looking forward to being sorely disappointed (and trading for a RF97A) or blown away with a new favourite stick.
 

bateman

New User
Why does Tennis Warehouse University list the Blade 18x20 CV has more vibration than the 2015 Blade?
Interested in this also. I'm looking to demo one when they're available in EU as I'm on the look out for more arm friendly racket. They make a big deal of the new CV tech, but 18x20 has higher vibration freq, and 16x19 2 points less only? Surely TWU use the same string setups for these measurements.
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
I hit with the 2105 98 18x20 and I SWORE I wasn't going to hit anything else for a while. My buddy talked me into hitting with one from his shop so I could let him know what the differences and my opinion. I will be hitting this evening and the next few weeks.
Did you?
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
I bought 2 of the 16x19's with no prior experience with the Blades or Countervail and after hitting today for a bit I can happily say that I don't regret my decision *at all*. I'm also coming from the RF97's and actually didn't expect to love the Blade that much, but I really think I do.
My favorite trait of the RF was/is stability, and while the Blade isn't quite on that level, it's close enough that I'm willing to part with a bit of stability and power for a softer feel and maneuverability. In the past, I found Blades (Particularly 2011/2013 versions of the 18x20) to be tinny, whereas the 2015 and especially the CV are softer and less harsh.

There's also the fact that I can't play as frequently as I did in undergrad (MT with field work is a bit of a schedule obliterator) and when I compete, it's in singles and doubles, best of 3 sets, several matches in a day, versus one 8 game pro set of doubles when 85% of the season is indoors-- it makes sense to trade some power for precision and ease of use.
 

TennisHound

Legend
"hard to tell when you're hitting the ball"!! I thought the feel was a little muted, but not quite that muted.
Exclamation points are a little overboard!!
I guess a better way to say it is that the feel of the strings overshadowed the feel of the racquet to the point that I didn't feel the racquet, as much as I did the strings!! The demo I had was very muted to the point of seriously dampening the feel of the racquet on contact with the ball!! I don't dislike it (so don't freak out!!) I will need to demo it some more and try to tail weight it since it seems Wilson has moved even more weight to the head, giving it an even balance strung!!
 
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RobS

Rookie
I guess a better way to say it is that the feel of the strings overshadowed the feel of the racquet, goof! The demo I had was very muted to the point of seriously dampening the feel of the racquet makes no contact with the ball. I don't dislike it (since I can tell some of the morons on this thread are getting offended if someone isn't on their little feel good Blade party train). I will need to demo it some more and try to tail weight it some more since it seems Wilson has moved even more weight to the head, giving it an even balance strung. Don't freak out over this Blade crusaders.
Was the demo strung with multi or another soft string? I've been playing the new Blade with full poly. It's very dampened, even with a stiff string. Based on my experience with this racquet, I think some players might find a lack of feedback with a soft string set up.
 

TennisHound

Legend
It was a 16x19 strung with Lux 4g, like I said, it felt a little different to me - very dampened. It sounds like others have had different experiences, though.
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
I hit with the 18x20. I liked it but was a little on the stiff side for me. I like very muted racquets though.
 

Crocodile

Legend
The mail Im getting from many of the retailors here is that the swingweights of these racquets are all over the place. Don't think a swingweight of 340 is going to be good for anyone's arm or shoulder.
Can't get excited when the specs are all over the place. I'd rather stick to a Yonex, Volkl or even a Pacific.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
I had a hit with one from a chap who had it modified with a leather grip and 1.5gr of lead t 12' and it was a surprisingly good experience. I'd say sw was 330-333ish. It was a good muted feeling, you either love it or hate it
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Yes...and the new BurnCV as well.

Here was the review on Instrgram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BNMlhf-DhLS

But if that doesn't work, basically...



"
First question I get is, is the new Blade 98CV better than the last 98? Yes and no. The balance is a few points different and you can feel the balance change. The dampening effect of CV is also subtle. Power and feel overall though remains about the same. So if you want a new Blade, it is worth it, but really to me it is not enough change or improvement to switch.

For anyone looking for what I consider an advanced all-around racquet it is definitely a strong contender. The balance is maneuverable for volley work but there is ample power for base line rallies and serves. The dampened feel is arm friendly but it is not a 'soft' or flexible feel. I'd say it feels compact and tight. The caveat to the balance and dampening is, if you like more contact feedback this will feel too muted.

I would add, since I am a tweener player between not beginner but not advanced, it took me a few weeks to find the sweet spot for using this racquet. It takes more precision and proper technique to access the power and features, especially with control. Where in the Wilson line up a Burn gives a player immediate access to power and pop. So if you hit with it, take time with it.
 

purdyd

Rookie
I demoed the blade 16x19 in multi last week. Prince premiere control as I recall. This week it is the pure strike with rpm blast and Babolat origin.

Biggest eye opener to me has been hitting poly and multi back to back on the same racquet. Did not expect such a difference in serving.

I didn't hit the previous blade but countervail does cut down the vibration. Like having a string dampener.

A solid racket. I wished I weighed it as I really liked volleying with it. It might have been a bit heavy compared to spec.

I like the matte finish, not a fan of the green. I like the stealth rf97 look. That red and black grip cap seems out of place.

I play at lunch with some relatively new players and they liked the feel.
 

donnayblack99

Semi-Pro
I never played with a Blade before, and I just picked two up. I'm a longtime Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 and Pro Staff 85 user. I've dabbled with POGs, Textreme Tours, Prince Exo Tours, Yonex vCore Tours, Volkl PB 10 mids, over the years. This new Blade 18x20 CV is absolutely ROCK SOLID. It feels like a Wilson Pro Staff 85 just with a larger head and a little lighter weight. I can crush the ball when set up short, and knife my backhand with a solid yet plush feel. I didn't think it played muted at all. I currently have mine strung with an 18G multi at 47 lbs. Plays like butter! I like that there is a little weight in the head that allows the hoop to plow through the ball with good tip speed. The frame is thinned beamed and quite comfortable in hand, especially coming over the ball on my one handed backhand. I'm getting great feel and control when going for extreme angles and quick service returns.

In my long search for a lighter player's racquet, I can't believe the Blade never came up on my radar. This stick is wonderful. A good mix between power and control and comfort.
 

Yao_guai_nz

New User
OK so I had my hit today after having the blade CV 18x20 re-strung with my usual wilson sensation... to compare apples with apples.

Comfort: CV > Nblade > KBlade
Power: Kblade > CV = Nblade
Spin: CV > Nblade > Kblade
Sweetspot: CV = Nblade > Kblade
Plough Through/plush factor: CV = Nblade > Kblade
Mobility: Kblade > Nblade = CV


I do have the CV in stock form vs the Nbade (and my dead Kblade) which had lead at 3 & 9 o'clock.
If it had lead I do reckon it would put the power up slightly and the comfort on parr with the Nblade.

I really want to love the bladed and its "player's stick" heritage.... but I have this other new stick in my bag that is also beautiful to play with in different ways... it's not cool though... It's the hype stick called the RF97A. I hate the fact that it's a fanboy stick.
I'm going to have one more hit with both and then one will go up for sale.

The beautiful demo at the tennis centre had some purple ish, mauve/grey Luxilon strings in there that made it so plush. Does anyone know which one this could be?

Mine has some Yellow Yonex Poly Tour Pro, which are nice, but not as nice as above mentioned.
 
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